FINELY POISED AFTER DAY 1 OF 2021 CAZOO MOSCONI CUP
TEAM EUROPE 2-2 TEAM USA
Team Europe 2-5 Team USA
Ouschan/KaÄ‡i 4-5 Styer/Reinhold
Joshua Filler 5-2 Shane Van Boening
Alcaide/Shaw 5-0 Woodward/Jones
Team Europe and Team USA will head into day two of the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup all square at two-all after the opening day of action at Alexandra Palace, London.
Team USA spearheaded by Jeremy Jones and Shane Van Boening took the opening team match in convincing style to settle any early nerves. Van Boening led by example with a break and run in the opening rack before Jones put a two-rack buffer between the two teams in the fourth rack. Europe struggled early doors as the USA pounced on errors and it was left up to two-time MVP Skyler Woodward to seal the first point of the tournament with the standout shot coming as he rifled in the one ball.
Jones called on Tyler Styer and Chris Reinhold in the first doubles match of the tournament and faced off against Albin Ouschan and Eklent KaÃ§i as it was decided in unbelievable fashion with things poised at hill-hill. The fourth rack was where momentum turned though, KaÃ§i left Ouschan tight on the rail with only three balls left on the table, and he failed to put away the seven down. In truth, Europe struggled, and their woes continued in the last rack as Ouschan and KaÃ§i got their playing order mixed up leaving the USA to race into a 2-0 advantage overall.
Joshua Filler was making his Alexandra Palace debut despite it being his fourth Cazoo Mosconi Cup. The German has had many battles already though in that time against USA vice-captain Shane Van Boening and this match was going to be no different with the first rack going to the wire as Filler's eight ball wiped its feet leaving the cue ball right in the pocket before he potted the nine.
The biggest reaction from the crowd on the night came in the third rack as Filler made the first golden break of the tournament as the seven kicked the nine ball in to put the Killer into a 3-1 lead. Europe Captain Alex Lely was wax lyrical about Filler's capabilities in his programme notes and that the Killer 'breathes fire' and that assessment came true as he delivered an inch-perfect seven ball the full length of the table en route to a 4-2 lead. The 2021 World Cup of Pool champion completed a 5-2 victory in the following rack with a routine runout.
Europe seemed to garner confidence from Filler's showing as David Alcaide and Jayson Shaw joined forces against Jones and Woodward and it proved to be the most emphatic result of the night in a 5-0 rout to make it 2-2 overall on day one. Shaw and Alcaide rallied with the pair coming out their shell in the second rack as Shaw delivered the shot of the night on the six. The Scotsman fired the six in the heart of the pocket before taking the cue ball up two rails to give Alcaide the ideal angle on the seven.
"I am happy we can say it's 2-2 now because it looked for a little bit that it could get out of hand. Josh got his win over Shane that kicked us into gear. Alcaide and Shaw played a hell of a match. It's a lot like last year when we were looking to go down after a shirt foul and we ended up winning that session. We were looking to start well and start better than last year but we didn't succeed but we ended up doing well so that's important," said Lely.
"What he (Filler) did well was knowing the importance of the match. He wasn't feeling super comfortable. He showed grit and heart and endured the pressure. When he clinched the victory, we could all see how didn't milk it but took it all in, he loves it."
Lely: "There's relief (in the European camp). The Americans played well they had us under the gun and they responded. We look forward to tomorrow."
Jones was happy with his side's first day: You can put the greatest team America has ever had and 2-2 is fine on day one. You can't win ir or lose it on day one, but you do not want to let things get out of hand. Shane and Skyler did their thing. Skyler came with a great out under pressure in the first match. It was good to see them get some table time."
"We feel good. As far as things are, I think we will stick to what we have on paper. I have a feel for the table. One thing I must do is be honest with myself because I am playing myself now. Going into day two is feeling good," added Jones.
The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is Poolâ€™s biggest rivalry as Europe and the USA meet over four days in a race to 11 points broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and networks worldwide including DAZN in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Poland. Action continues at 6 pm UK time tomorrow. Find out where to watch in your country here.
The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Aramith is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip, and Onboard Sportwear provide all Mosconi Cup apparel. Cazoo is the official title sponsor of the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup.
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